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      08-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #1
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Prediction for those going from manual to DCT

80% of those on this board that move from manual to DCT will be back to manual within 3 to 4 years.

I've got its VAG counterpart, and have been using it as my DD for 3 years now. It's a great transmission and has been a real joy to use in that time period. I really don't have anything bad to say about it.

But like any video game you use every day the thrill eventually gets driven away (pun intended). If anything because it is in fact too good.

If I didn't have the manny tranny einser to play with on the weekends I would probably go

The gearbox is the best I've ever experienced in any BMW of the past 20 years, and finding the desired gear is not a struggle as it used to be.

But even with that benefit it still offers extreme challenges.

And in the end I prefer challenging myself rather than some computer, even if it beats me 99% of the time. Because that 1 time I beat it it will be nirvana and pure sweetness.

So go ahead and stray from the path if you feel compelled, but once the thrill is gone I'm guessing like the Prodigal Son you'll be back.............. in 3 years................maybe 4 years..............TOPS!

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      08-11-2010, 09:46 AM   #2
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LOL I think half the people who claim they switched from MT to DCT really switched from AT.
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      08-11-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
LOL I think half the people who claim they switched from MT to DCT really switched from AT.
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      08-11-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxnix View Post
Got other manuals to drive also!
Helps to have something to scratch that itch when it comes upon you.
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      08-11-2010, 10:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyMike View Post
80% of those on this board that move from manual to DCT will be back to manual within 3 to 4 years.

I've got its VAG counterpart, and have been using it as my DD for 3 years now. It's a great transmission and has been a real joy to use in that time period. I really don't have anything bad to say about it.

But like any video game you use every day the thrill eventually gets driven away (pun intended). If anything because it is in fact too good.

If I didn't have the manny tranny einser to play with on the weekends I would probably go

The gearbox is the best I've ever experienced in any BMW of the past 20 years, and finding the desired gear is not a struggle as it used to be.

But even with that benefit it still offers extreme challenges.

And in the end I prefer challenging myself rather than some computer, even if it beats me 99% of the time. Because that 1 time I beat it it will be nirvana and pure sweetness.

So go ahead and stray from the path if you feel compelled, but once the thrill is gone I'm guessing like the Prodigal Son you'll be back.............. in 3 years................maybe 4 years..............TOPS!

I agree.

I don't doubt that the DCT shifts faster than I do or that it picks the right gear more often than I. It's faster 0-60 and quite possibly the best auto transmission out there.

But in a small car (like a 135i) I really want a manual transmission. Move up to the 5 or 7 Series, I get it.

But I'd pay more money for a manual than a DCT.
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      08-11-2010, 10:22 AM   #6
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Being fairly new, i wouldn't be surprised if DCT's become the source of very costly future repairs.
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      08-11-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
LOL I think half the people who claim they switched from MT to DCT really switched from AT.
I'm blessed to have all 3 varieties of tranny currently.

For me each is a tool that I drag out when the occassion merits.

The Steppy on the Touring is great for family vacations when I don't want to worry about anything except getting to the destination and back again. And the odd moments when I'm feeling frisky (read sans the family in the vehicle) during that period I can flip it into Sport mode and use the down low torgue range it's setup for.

The DSG is great on a daily basis, because it's always available when you want to have a flippin' good time.

And the manual einser is a great weekend warrior to remind me why the marque is still an enthusiast oriented company, despite the satan inspired RFT's.

Each in its own way is a great transmission, and is a reminder that it's nice to always have options.
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      08-11-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyMike View Post
I'm blessed to have all 3 varieties of tranny currently.
Each in its own way is a great transmission, and is a reminder that it's nice to always have options.
Yes, but I'm afraid of manufactures completely doing away with the manual. Ferrari has done it. And I see the occasional news article reporting the end of the manual transmission. I really had to hunt to find my 128i with a manual and sports package.
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      08-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hops128i View Post
Yes, but I'm afraid of manufactures completely doing away with the manual. Ferrari has done it. And I see the occasional news article reporting the end of the manual transmission. I really had to hunt to find my 128i with a manual and sports package.
Manual transmissions are just not popular in the US - something like 5%, the take rate is so low that it rarely justifies the engineering investment to put it in the car. Fortunately the European take-rate for manuals is higher.

I would forgive BMW for not offering the manual in the 5 or 7 sedans, but I'm pretty sure that the 1 and 3s, along with the Ms will continue to see manual options. Don't be surprised when it actually costs the same or more for that manual, though.
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      08-11-2010, 11:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
LOL I think half the people who claim they switched from MT to DCT really switched from AT.
I'd bet you are more right than most will want to admit.

There have been a lot of VW owners who went DSG and then flipped the car for a manual version - out of sheer BOREDOM with the transmission! I've seen the same thing in the MINI world (more predictable there, because MINI only has a slushbox... yet you still get people defending their slushbox as a "sporting choice" over a manual... and very few admit that they either don't know how to drive a manual tranny or don't know how to drive one well enough to have ever owned a stick shift sports car...).

I was sad to see the % MINIs sold with manuals dropping to as low as 50%, from a previous 80% just a few years ago. Same thing - worse - has happened in the BMW world... one estimate I heard is that only about 2% of cars are ordered with stickshift! Even the miata world (I have a modded miata as well) has seen more and more people buying them with slushboxes.

I should add that this is largely a Canadian / American phenomenon... majority of hot hatches and sport sedans and all-out sports cars in EU continue to be sold with manual tranny, and this definitely correlates to the fact that vast majority of people getting their driver's license in EU countries are proficient with the manual transmission, whereas in USA / Canada it is downright RARE to meet people who are comfortable driving stick... it's a "lost art", sadly...

Still, the manual transmission is at least available from BMW even on a 5-series sedan, which is more than Audi and Mercedes can say about their sedans (if you don't mind ordering and waiting up to 2 months for your car or doing ED)... I suspect we will get to the point where DCT replaces the slushbox STEPTRONIC in all BMW models (which is fine by me, no love lost for the slushbox in my opinion) but that the manual tranny will be an extra cost option or - worse - reserved for higher trim levels only.

Interesting times to be a driving enthusiast...
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      08-11-2010, 11:38 AM   #11
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We'll see. The DCT in my upcoming 135i will be the first car I've had in a while without a traditional manual transmission. Going this way because (a) I liked the DCT I test drove quite a bit and (b) this could end up being my wife's car before the lease is up and she doesn't care to shift her own gears.

I could see sticking with the DCT in my daily driver and, if I ever get a fun car, going with a traditional three pedal manual transmission in it.
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      08-11-2010, 11:46 AM   #12
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      08-11-2010, 12:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanE92 View Post
Going this way because (a) I liked the DCT I test drove quite a bit and (b) this could end up being my wife's car before the lease is up and she doesn't care to shift her own gears.
This is the exact reason I opted for the VW, next to the AWD capability. Our first BMW was a '91 318is that I taught her to drive a stick and wound up being her car. While we survived that lesson period in our marriage and she's not bad by any stretch of the imagination (although she still can't execute a perfect high-heel-n-toe yet ), she would prefer not to have to deal with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanE92 View Post
I could see sticking with the DCT in my daily driver and, if I ever get a fun car, going with a traditional three pedal manual transmission in it.
Unless I'm mistaken, according to the Surgeon General sequential trannies are an important part of a well balanced stable menu and diet.
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      08-11-2010, 12:21 PM   #14
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Take a look at the replacement cost of the DCT vs the MT. I would not want to pay $12,000+ for an out of warranty repair.
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      08-11-2010, 12:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluefly View Post
I suspect we will get to the point where DCT replaces the slushbox STEPTRONIC in all BMW models (which is fine by me, no love lost for the slushbox in my opinion) but that the manual tranny will be an extra cost option or - worse - reserved for higher trim levels only.

Interesting times to be a driving enthusiast...
Having to pay for a manual would be an interesting conundrum. BMW's are already premiumly priced. I wonder how many die-hards if they had to pay for it would cave in to sequentials, or switch to other competitive brands.

If DCT was the new 'standard' transmission and I had to fork out $1400 or so for a manual BMW I would definitely have to think long & hard.

It's not a question of jettisoning other 'luxury' options to make up for the added cost, because I'm already at the point where I'm a 'value' shopper, and that necessitates being a minimalist and preferring things like manual seats and doing without the latest techno doohickie's.

I guess in the end if it was a special enough vehicle I would cough up the dough (at least the first time), but I'd still probably feel bitter about the experience well after it was over.

Then it would be just one more thing added to complain about besides RFT's, loss of dipstick and the window controls on the door.
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      08-11-2010, 02:03 PM   #16
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I doubt they would charge more for a manual but a few cars have the automated manual gearbox as the default transmission with the manual being a no cost option.
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      08-11-2010, 02:26 PM   #17
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I test drove an E92 M3 DCT yesterday. My first experience with DCT. I've been driving manuals most of my life, my recently sold 135i was a manual and I have a 335i sedan with the steptronic. I've always said I hated driving autos and steptronic wasn't fun at all for me. I've heard great things about DCT, but really didn't think it could sway me from the enjoyment of driving a manual.

Well after the test drive yesterday, I've come to some pretty expected conclusions. Shifting is FAST. If you are picking the transmission that allows you to drive as fast as possible, go with DCT. On the other hand, it absolutely does not replace the driving enjoyment of a manual. It still feels like the car is doing everything for you (obviously), and it has the same feeling as driving a steptronic (only with practically no delay when shifting). As someone who loves double-clutching/rev-matching downshifts and practicing my heel-toe technique, DCT just doesn't do it for me. I guess I just prefer driver involvement over being the fastest car, especially if it's a daily driver. I can totally see serious track rats opting for DCT as it is very fast.
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      08-11-2010, 04:15 PM   #18
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I love seeing these threads, always hilarious. DCT vs. MT is obviously a personal preference issue. A lot of people who love MT are scared the DCT might be so good that it is the final nail in the coffin, so they feel the need to complain about it.

Is DCT a better choice than MT, I hope everyone agrees that "XXXX is best for me" is really the only correct answer. This is an opinion.
Does the MT require you to use your left foot? yes
Is the DCT faster at shifting? yes
Is the MT more fun? whoa, thats hard. the PERFECT rev match feels great, but so does the thrill of that instantaneous shift. Learn to find enjoyment in the little things, and either transmission is quite a lot of fun.
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      08-11-2010, 06:21 PM   #19
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I drove a STEP 135 loaner for about a week while my wife's 6MT e90 was in the shop. It got me to seriously considering the DCT on my 1, but tonight I picked her car up and that's the end of that idea.

I have no doubt that the DCT (and even the STEP) can shift faster and more accurately than I can, but they don't shift like I want them to. It's silly and probably irrational, but as Xylarax said it's personal preference.

Oh, and her 328 is unbelievably tame after driving the 135 so consistently. She won;t like me having another reason to not like her car....

-dave
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      08-11-2010, 06:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyMike View Post
80% of those on this board that move from manual to DCT will be back to manual within 3 to 4 years.

I've got its VAG counterpart, and have been using it as my DD for 3 years now. It's a great transmission and has been a real joy to use in that time period. I really don't have anything bad to say about it.

But like any video game you use every day the thrill eventually gets driven away (pun intended). If anything because it is in fact too good.

If I didn't have the manny tranny einser to play with on the weekends I would probably go

The gearbox is the best I've ever experienced in any BMW of the past 20 years, and finding the desired gear is not a struggle as it used to be.

But even with that benefit it still offers extreme challenges.

And in the end I prefer challenging myself rather than some computer, even if it beats me 99% of the time. Because that 1 time I beat it it will be nirvana and pure sweetness.

So go ahead and stray from the path if you feel compelled, but once the thrill is gone I'm guessing like the Prodigal Son you'll be back.............. in 3 years................maybe 4 years..............TOPS!

great points, i agree completely. i hope, however, that manual transmissions aren't 5 or 10 years away from becoming obsolete or unwanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
LOL I think half the people who claim they switched from MT to DCT really switched from AT.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hops128i View Post
Being fairly new, i wouldn't be surprised if DCT's become the source of very costly future repairs.
x1000000
anyone that purchases a dct (instead of leasing) and plans to keep it past the factory warranty NEEDS to purchase the extended warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiantm3 View Post
I test drove an E92 M3 DCT yesterday. My first experience with DCT. I've been driving manuals most of my life, my recently sold 135i was a manual and I have a 335i sedan with the steptronic. I've always said I hated driving autos and steptronic wasn't fun at all for me. I've heard great things about DCT, but really didn't think it could sway me from the enjoyment of driving a manual.

Well after the test drive yesterday, I've come to some pretty expected conclusions. Shifting is FAST. If you are picking the transmission that allows you to drive as fast as possible, go with DCT. On the other hand, it absolutely does not replace the driving enjoyment of a manual. It still feels like the car is doing everything for you (obviously), and it has the same feeling as driving a steptronic (only with practically no delay when shifting). As someone who loves double-clutching/rev-matching downshifts and practicing my heel-toe technique, DCT just doesn't do it for me. I guess I just prefer driver involvement over being the fastest car, especially if it's a daily driver. I can totally see serious track rats opting for DCT as it is very fast.
nice review, as well. i'm glad people enjoy DCT and similar transmissions. i, for one, will never drive any form of an automatic transmission
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      08-11-2010, 07:24 PM   #21
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Our Journey from MT to DCT to Slushbox

Let me just say up front that my wife and I have both driven MT cars exclusively.

My wife and I have a 21 month old son. So far, we've used my '06 Double Cab Tacoma for kid hauling duties. Her '00 /M Roadster was used as her daily driver to work.

We decided it was time to replace the /M with something more practical. My wife became obsessed with the X3. We drove several. Meh.

Then she decided she wanted a 1-series. We test drove a 128i with steptronic, and then a 135i with DCT. Decided we wanted the DCT. We even tried our son's car seat in the back, and took him for a test drive.

All right...time to order. By the time we add all of the options we want, we are somewhere north of $44k. Ouch. BUT.....we LOVED the car.

Then we did a little research. And heard about this thing called a "high pressure fuel pump". We sorta balked. We still wanted the 135i, but started looking at 328's, 528's, ect.

Then we found a CPO '07 550i FULLY LOADED with an auto trans. Test drove it, and didn't mind the slush box at all. The M/S mode isn't as terrible as I would have expected.

Since we have a kid, we need at least one car that relatives can drive in an emergency. My wife was recently hospitalized, and our relatives really struggled with trying to get our son's car seat out of my truck and into their car. We bought this so my mom, mother-in-law, sister, and all other non-MT drivers can take care of my child in an emergency.

Kind of a bummer. But look at it this way.....We're driving a 550i! LOVE the Head's up Display!
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      08-11-2010, 07:31 PM   #22
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Let me just add a little addendum to my above post:

Now that we have the 550i as a "kid hauler", I don't see the need for the double cab Tacoma anymore.

I'd love to see a solution to the HPFP problem in the x35i series cars (N54/N55).

The 135i is the successor to my dream car (E46 M3). You know....that car that you REALLY wish you could afford in your mid-late 20's but just can't. But now you're in your mid-30's and need a slightly more modern version of your dream car?

I see the 135i as a reincarnation of the M3's of yesteryear....and I want one.
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